First time sighting in a rifle

Ok so, I’ve never done this. I’ve never sighted in Iron Sights, Red Dots or any type of scope. As soon as my “range” is thawed out I plan on doing this with my new AR. I have no idea what I’m doing. I have ordered cheapie scope/red dot combo to learn on, as well as a laser bore sight. What else am I going to need? I was thinking a bipod to help me keep the rifle level, and probably a folding table and a chair.

A quick note on the scope/red dot. I didn’t go super cheap, but it’s a far cry from top tier. It had over 1500 reviews and only a few were negative. I figured if I screwed something up with the scope then I wouldn’t be out several hundred bucks while trying to learn.

Great question, @Spence! I’ll be watching for the responses to this one as well!

Do you have a link to the optic? That would help a lot with how to sight it in. Also does your AR have a fixed front sight post? Are you mounting the scope?

Yes my AR does have a fixed front sight, the optic is supposed to come with risers.

This is what I ordered, only I ordered the red laser one for $10 cheaper. I have little interest in the laser to be honest.
When you ask if I’m mounting the scope are you asking if i’m doing it myself?

That’s if i can even use the red dot. My astigmatism is a pain sometimes. Thank you for the advice. I’ve probably got 2-3 weeks yet before i can get back to my range. And the weatherman says more snow this week

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As if the UP and Northern Wisconsin didn’t have enough! If you have any buddies that have mounted scopes on guns available, I would talk to them. It is a task that can be easily screwed up.

I do but they all take theirs in to get them mounted. I have this habit of doing things the hard way lol


That’s understandable. Check out some of Larry Potterfield’s videos on how to do it. That dude owns Midway USA, and knows a couple of things.


Nice job @James explaining this! A couple other side notes: (whether this applies to you @Spence or anyone reading this)
While using the bore sighter, you will need to adjust the cross hairs to match the laser (obviously). What you don’t want to do is adjust your elevation/windage so much you either tap it out of room or don’t leave enough room to make adjustments on the range. If this happens, stop. Start over. Reasoning being there may be one little thing throwing off your entire scope. (Could also be wrong size height in rings). Which brings me to my next point, the scope should not be resting on any part of the rifle. The eyepiece, the power ring, the bell, etc should be clear. Everything between scope, rings, rail, etc should have a snug fit, no gaps. I mentioned earlier about tapping out the scope, there is a trick to zero in the scope if you need to. With the scope free, rest it standing on a mirror with the eye piece up. Depending on the scope and your lighting situation you may need to acquire a flashlight or prop the scope to hover over the mirror to allow light to pass. (A mason jar lid between scope and mirror works great). Look thru the scope. The mirror will reflect the reticle back to you. You then make all the adjustments to align the crosshair and it’s reflection. This will zero in the scope to itself. Oh! And another side note…if you try everything and can’t line it up with the bore sighter there’s a chance the bore sighter itself is not resting securely or it could even be bent. (I have spent enough very frustrating ‘wtf’ moments only to find out the bore sighter was bent.) I think that’s everything… :smile:


@Kelly can you post a photo of your mirror setup? Not quite picturing it

Absolutely! I’ll take a photo tomorrow at work. I don’t think @James would be to happy if I yanked off a scope just for a photo. :rofl:


Nope not real happy, no. You can always rip the scope off yours. :smiley:


Bare with me @Zee with these photos. Lol.
Photo of scope on top of mirror. Eye piece up
It’s hard to see but it’s there. This is a photo looking into the scope. You can see the actual cross hair as well as its reflection. See how it’s high and left? With adjusting windage and elevation I brought it to zero itself. Once I mounted it with the bore sighter it only took a few tweaks to get it on. Does this help?


That looks cool! I’m going to go look at that tonight!

I find myself checking every scope I touch. It helps mounting to know the scope is on first before trying to adjust the scope around an incorrect mounting. Or when someone brings in a scope they pulled off a different firearm to mount to a new one. We had a Leupold rep come in with do scope mounts once. It was a neat trick he taught us.